Sometimes it Just Doesn’t Add Up

I have a client of mine who cheated death with an organ transplant and has a deep reverie for what she has survived. And yet, she smokes cigarettes! When I point out how perplexing I find her behavior, she shrugs and tells me she’s perplexed, too.

A couple I work with are all over one another about the way the other spends and wastes money. One buys well over a hundred dollars worth of lottery tickets a week and the other over a hundred dollars of cosmetics in the same time period.

Another client can not divorce her spouse for fear of how devastated he will be. So she remains in an affair that is known to all parties. The knowledge is devastating and destructive to her spouse.

And there are more. I know people who only eat organic foods but drink to excess. I have a friend who keeps kosher and has two sets of dishes — no violations of the strict Jewish dietary rules in her house. Yet she has no qualms about happily eating pork at the local Chinese restaurant.

Paradoxical behavior? For certain. What’s a therapist to say, since we’re supposed to have all the answers? How about this: Go figure.